Masterchef Winner Mat Follas to Tour Southern US to Find Foodie Inspiration
DALLAS, Texas (April 29, 2010) – On May 4, celebrity chef Mat Follas, winner of Masterchef UK 2009, is taking to the roads of the American south with Motel 6 to find inspiration for his dishes. The patron and chef of the award-winning UK restaurant, The Wild Garlic, has chosen Motel 6 as the perfect fit for his accommodation needs - he can plan his trip online and find a comfortable room anywhere along his route. As Follas travels the regions of Texas and Louisiana on a Harley Davidson, he will taste local specialties and find wild foods to inspire him to create new dishes for his café opening in the UK later this year.
Eating authentic gumbo, Creole and Cajun dishes, the Masterchef winner will look for different styles of cooking, getting inspiration from American cuisine. BBQ ribs, fried chicken and enchiladas are all traditional meals that Follas intends to learn about and recreate back home. Using Motel 6’s trip planning Web site, Goin6.com, Follas has found the perfect partner to find out where to eat and how to get there with the easy “sleep” and “eat” functions.
“I just can’t wait to be biking on the open roads, tasting new things and seeing what can be found in a countryside I am unfamiliar with,” said Mat Follas about his upcoming road trip. “It is a great opportunity for me to experience a different culture and bring tastes of it back to the UK with me. I especially want to find out about the local wild foods to be found on my trip and hope people will share their knowledge with me as I travel through.”
Since winning Masterchef, Follas has opened his restaurant, The Wild Garlic, which has been critically acclaimed by food critics in the UK and won a number of awards. The Wild Garlic is famous for using local wild foods that are found naturally in the surrounding countryside and coastal areas. Follas is often found looking for wild garlic in the hedgerow or diving for scallops off the stunning Jurassic Coast of Dorset. Known for his simple, flavorsome dishes, Follas is travelling in a loop from New Orleans, through Lake Charles to Houston, then Dallas and back to experience a slice of the renowned American food culture which he can use to spice up his dishes.
Follas will eat in restaurants that have been recommended to him by bloggers and Twitterers while taking the opportunity to speak to restaurateurs and locals at each stop to find out what wild food he can gather along his route. Any suggestions should be sent to Follas at www.twitter.com/matkiwi. Follas encourages fans to suggest the best places to eat along his route – starting on May 4, he is travelling to Lafayette, La.; Lake Charles, La.; Houston, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; Dallas, Texas; Alexandria, La.; and New Orleans. Travelers can read about Follas’ trip on his blog: www.thewildgarlicblog.co.uk and start planning their own Motel 6 road trip at www.goin6.com.
Photo caption: Mat Follas on his Harley outside The Wild Garlic – credit Mat Follas
About Motel 6
Motel 6 offers the lowest price of any national chain at more than 1,000 company-owned and franchised locations throughout the United States and Canada. For 23 years, Motel 6 has used the tagline, “We’ll leave the light on for you®,” earning the chain the highest brand recognition in the economy lodging segment. Motel 6 was the first national pet friendly chain, welcoming pets since 1962. Standard amenities include free local phone calls, no long distance access charges, free morning coffee, data ports, Wi-Fi Internet access and cable channel line-up with premium channels including HBO, ESPN/ESPN2, and CNN. Most locations offer swimming pools and guest laundry facilities. For more information, visit www.motel6.com.
About Accor North America
Headquartered in Dallas (Carrollton), Texas, Accor North America operates more than 1,000 upscale and economy properties including nationwide economy leaders Motel 6, Studio 6, Ibis, Sofitel Luxury Hotels and upscale Novotel locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. For more information, visit accor-na.com.
About Accor Worldwide
Accor, a major global group and the European leader in hotels, as well as the global leader in services to corporate clients and public institutions, operates in nearly 100 countries with 150,000 employees. It offers to its clients over 40 years of expertise in two core businesses:
- Hotels, with the Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Novotel, Mercure, Suitehotel, Adagio, ibis, all seasons, Etap Hotel, Formule 1, hotelF1, Studio 6 and Motel 6 brands, representing 4,100 hotels and nearly 500,000 rooms in 90 countries, as well as strategically related activities, Thalassa sea & spa, Lenôtre, CWL.
- Services, with 33 million people in 40 countries benefiting from Accor Services products in employee and constituent benefits, rewards and incentives, and expense management.
About Mat Follas
The Wild Garlic restaurant, settled in the picturesque county of Dorset, UK has established itself as not only a foodie destination to compete with the rest of the UK, but has also put British food firmly back on the menu. Cooking at a high level came late to Mat. After moving to West Dorset, Mat discovered that British waters offer great scuba diving opportunities, and with that came lots of fresh seafood. A day's cooking course at Rick Stein's Seafood School was the start of a journey that led to entering and winning Masterchef 2009, culminating in opening and running his own restaurant.
Mat is passionate about cooking with local, wild ingredients, as well as learning about the fantastic bounty of sea vegetables and hedgerow produce that can be found all around us. His dishes use these naturally delicious ingredients to produce food that is full of flavour and a delight to eat. The final saw Mat producing dishes with ingredients found close to his home. A starter of trio of wild rabbit, main of spider crab thermidor with sea vegetables and dessert of lavender mousse with hokey pokey and blackberry sauce ensured the amateur cook was crowned Masterchef 2009. To find out recipes or more information go to www.thewildgarlic.co.uk.